Clowning in Malaysian Politics

July 6, 2013

Clowning in Malaysian Politics

by Dr.Lim Teck Ghee@

Bung  Mokhtar RadinTherere two types of nonsense – plausible and implausible. Plausible nonsense is when someone spins a story to children, which although implausible to adults is plausible to young minds. Though not believable to adults, most children stories have the redeeming value of being educational and entertaining.

Then there is implausible nonsense which does not make any sense at all. Clowns and buffoons engage in implausible nonsense for the purpose of entertaining audiences and bringing comic relief.

In Shakespeare’s plays, his clowns and fools did not only invite laughter but they often had something profound to say. The Shakespeare fool, who is usually a person of low or common birth, provided insights into the main characters belonging to the nobility as well as shedding light on the central themes of the play.

In Malaysia we have political clowns dominating the national stage but unlike in Shakespeare’s plays, they provide no entertainment or anything of merit or significance to our conflict-ridden society. Instead, they simply push up our stress levels.

Why the ‘child conversion’ ambush now?

When given the opportunity to say something sensible about the controversial Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill tabled in Parliament recently, the DPM defended the government action by claiming that “the cabinet has discussed this in detail and … in the current situation, there have been several guidelines that we used. One of them is the court’s decision on a previous case and the second is the Malaysian constitution. So that is the jurisdiction of power we have today.”

Unlike his colleague, Nazri Aziz who has been consistently principled on the issue, Muhyiddin has conveniently forgotten that the new Cabinet decision is overturning an earlier decision of which he was a party to. He could have used the press conference occasion to demonstrate his Malaysian, and not Malay, leadership qualities but chose instead to cloud the issue even more by providing spurious legal and constitutional arguments.

We have had more than enough public discussion and debate during the past few years on the issue of the conversion of children under the age of 18 as well as other cases of contested conversion to Islam.

Not only is there a broad consensus of opposition against forced conversion – whether of minors or adults – among our population of non-Muslim faith and religions but Islamic organizations such as Sisters in Islam and the Islamic Renaissance Front and many concerned Muslim individuals have spoken out with regard to the conversion of non-Muslim minors.

Now that the elections are over, perhaps Muhyiddin is trying to pander to the UMNO delegates whose support he seeks in the party’s coming general assembly meeting. If he is doing so, he is not helping the cause of Islam in Malaysia and its avowed message of fairness and tolerance.

What is really behind Jonker Walk closure?

Just as big a political clown – though at the state level – is the Malaccamb-melaka-idris Chief Minister who has decided to show to the locals the stuff he is made of by making traffic congestion his first priority on assuming office.

“One would have assumed that he would devote his time to more important state matters such as raising the state’s productivity or attracting high value investment than traffic congestion in Jonker Walk. But no, a fight with the area’s street traders who are mostly Chinese and presumably supporters of the opposition seems to be his strategy for grabbing national attention and notoriety.

As with Muhyiddin, Idris will have his eye on the coming UMNO general assembly meeting which will see the election of party supreme council members, a position which he is clearly aiming for. What better credentials to win the votes of delegates than a reputation as the man who single-handedly destroyed the rice bowl of opposition-inclined traders?
This would also embellish his international reputation further.

Idris, during his first years in Parliament, made news headlines for complaining that the body-hugging outfits worn by stewardesses on Malaysia Airlines would result in male passengers sexually harassing the stewardesses. One wonders if this observation could have been provoked by his own response to the dress wear.

“Leave Malaysia” if you don’t likeThe last in this group, Bung Moktar, the MP for Kitabatangan had previously made the headlines with various political antics and a polygamous marriage which did not meet the procedures and conditions required by Islamic law.This time around when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal azran-osman rani Address, the Sabah UMNO representative lowered his standard of buffoonery to engage in character assassination of AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman Rani. Calling Azran a “Melayu biadab” (rude Malay) who did not deserve to be a citizen, he is reported to have yelled, “Leave this country and go live anywhere else you like.”

His outburst led the Speaker to point out to Bung Moktar that he should not use the privilege to speak in the Dewan Rakyat to criticise civilians and government officials who were unable to use the same platform to defend themselves.

The Speaker should have also reminded the member of the House that such acts of political coward will live forever in the pages of Malaysian political history through our Hansard records.

1malaysiaThere is however one solace. In Shakespeare’s comedies, fools are called upon to encourage a more serious examination of the situations and characters of a play. Fools not only amuse and entertain, but they also help the audience to ponder on serious social, religious and political issues.

This is so true in the prolonged wayang kulit and the performing political clowns that invariably take centre stage before UMNO’s big day, the party election due this year in November.

8 thoughts on “Clowning in Malaysian Politics

  1. Din.
    Bung Mokhtar had been appointed as Chairman of Felcra with $30k salary plus perk.Is he a jocker.?
    Hamid, he is a joker-chairman, rewarded for his loyalty and for being a clown.–Din Merican

  2. Ah, the clowns! If we recall PM Najib begged Malaysians to give BN another chance, another 5 years and he will bring about changes the voters were clamouring for. The urban electorate never trusted him but the handouts and religion enticed the rural folk to give him that mandate for another term.

    Yet, what do we have in Parliament and State Assemblies? Yes, clowns who were elected to look after the people now making fun of them. The Home Minister Zahid Hamidi was one of the first among clowns to ask the 51% who voted for the Opposition to emigrate if not happy with the electoral system. Then we have the Federal Territories Minister Adnan Mansor who claims Malaysia is not a 3rd world country therefore there is no need for the use of indelible ink. Not to be outdone the Bocor MP with the new wife from Sabah (what’s his name?) whacks an individual (Air Asia chief) in the august House for the latter’s comment on Utusan’s irresponsible journalism. But did the same coward attack the PM’s brother for his comments? Oh no! Hasn’t the balls to do so, how can, PM’s brother mah!

    Even the Opposition leader was not spared. That same old story of him having a stash of millions (down from the earlier claims of billions) in foreign banks. The BN clown obviously wants to catch the attention of the PM and be appointed Minister if 3/4-dead MCA changes its stance of not accepting Cabinet posts.

    Even doctors were not spared. In the Penang State Assembly, one BN tak-guna rep accused 3 Malaysian Chinese doctors of not providing treatment to Malays. Such dishonourable behavior from one who has the honorific YB in front of his name. Did he accept the challenge to name the doctors? Of cos not. Mana ada bola? Did that moron even think of the consequences of his statement – how some Malays will now view non-Malay doctors?

    The 13th GE is long over but despite calls by the PM himself for national reconciliation, his coalition’s elected politicians are still in election mode (not the Rais mode) or are they continuing to display arrogance “See, you elected us now our middle finger up your you-know-where!” So, YB Adnan Mansor, you still think Malaysia is not third world country?

  3. People like Bung Mokhtar and Idris Haron are Najib’s gift of insult to Malaysians. If he ever wonders why the majority dislike and mistrusts him, look no further. Just look at the clowns he gave us…

  4. Clowns are for meant to and for fooling around.
    The Biggest fool is we ra’ayat
    Because we are so dumb to pay for these clowns and their clowning.
    We ASKED for it, we even paid for clowns with fake univ degrees.

    IF we are smart, then we have to do something to ensure we have good politicians for good governance.

  5. These guys may be clowns. But for Muslims, their religion is never a joke. Today, for example, I have seen one report making a veiled call for jihad over the FT withdrawal. Yes it is a withdrawal not dropping the amendment.

  6. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be
    actually something that I believe I’d by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complicated and very large for me.
    I’m having a look ahead for your next post, I will try to get the dangle of it!

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